Utah Down Syndrome Foundation Buddy Walk
So… I like to be on Twitter at 11:30 at night. And later. Generally at that time I’ve ran out of the normal online time wasters, and if I’m not working on the Walk Beside Me LDS Preschool… well, I tweet. Anyway, it was about this time when Rachel Coleman (@ST_Rachel) , creator/director/actor/signer extrodinaire tweeted this:
Of course my heart got all palpity (not a word. should be a word.) and I eagerly tweeted back for more info. Rachel, performing in Salt Lake? We are so there. Rachel was super sweet and sent me all the info I needed. She would be performing and walking at the UDSF Buddy Walk to support and raise money for Down Syndrome. I don’t personally know anyone with Down Syndrome–but those who I have met with this syndrome are truly some of the sweetest, most Christ-like people I’ve met. Add Rachel Coleman, and I am there.
I guess I need to back up. Just who is Rachel Coleman and why was I so giddy at midnight?
Rachel Coleman is Signing Time.
Signing Time is an amazing, award winning program that teaches ASL in a kid friendly format. The songs are catchy, and the DVDs are plentiful (so you don’t get sick of hearing the same thing again and again). I discovered this series when Nicole was little. We started her with Baby Signing Time. By the time she was 2.5, she had hundreds of signs memorized. She is verbally advanced, and I credit Signing Time for that. Recently we started putting on Baby Signing Time for Abigail. She has taken to it like a kid and a popsicle on a summer day. She asks for “Ah-nie” (Signing Time) first thing in the morning. In the few weeks since she’s started watching it, she’s picked up dozens of signs and her oral language is blooming too.
Suffice it to say, I love Signing Time. The chance to meet Rachel Coleman is like meeting an A-List celebrity for me! The Buddy Walk itself was so fantastic. We paid a small cover charge ($10 per adult, $5 for kids), and received a T-shirt, a napsack, and a water bottle. All the carnival games and the catered lunch from Red Robin was included at this price.
Oh, and snowcones, cotton candy, Creamies, and popcorn, too. I seriously don’t think my kids have ever gotten away with eating so much junk in a day. They got prizes for games, and Rebecca even got her nails painted.
Between meeting Rachel, Alex, Leah, and Hopkins,
as well as Abigail being loved on by sweet Lucy,
and the well-coordinated games and activities, my kids were on 7th Heaven. This will definitely be an annual event for us. We got to particapate in the Buddy Walk after Rachel performed. Everyone lined up and walked around the big park. The line was so long that the beginning eventually met up with the end of the line. Many people came out to show support for specific individuals with Down Syndrome; and coordinated special shirts or outfits to show their. How special for a child with DS to see the many people who love them!
- Abigail and I on the Buddy Walk
- Nicole jumping to Rachel’s singing about Turtle Rock
- Sleepy Abigail waiting for Signing Time to begin
- Jordan–with a train stamp on his head, naturally.
- Jordan on stage helping Rachel sign “surprise!”
- Alex and Leah on the Buddy Walk
- Rebecca, Nicole, and Abigail signing together
- Rebecca signs the ‘a’ in her name
- Ah… photo op! Can I insist we match for all family outings?
- Abigail ‘fingerspelling’ “Rachel”
- Jordan takes Abigail on a train ride
Want to try Signing Time to see if it’s right for your child? Get a 7 day rental for $1.99 per episode at Amazon.com!